Demons send Bears tumbling with sweep

NATCHITOCHES, La. — The University of Central Arkansas Bears left a combined 19 runners on base Saturday in dropping both games of a Southland Conference doubleheader to Northwestern State at Brown-Stroud Field.

The sweep by the Demons tumbled the Bears (22-19, 10-11) in the Southland Conference standings. They began the weekend in a four-way tie for fourth. They are now in eighth place.

The Bears scored a run in the eighth inning of the opener to send it to extra innings before falling 5-4 in 11 innings. The Demons scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning with only one hit to break a 3-3 tie and win the nightcap 6-3 to complete the weekend sweep.

UCA has lost four consecutive games. Northwestern State is 25-19 and 13-8 and moved into fourth place after entering the weekend on a five-game losing streak.

Doug Votolato, Carson Dowdle and Nate Ferrell all had two hits in the first game. Tyler Langley’s bases-loaded walk in the eighth knotted it at 4-4. Jon Rand threw the final 2 2/3 innings for the Bears, holding the Demons scoreless in the ninth and 10th innings.

After both teams left a runner on base in the 10th inning, the Demons got a two-out walk by C.J. Webster and a single to center field by Joel Atkinson before Edwin Gomez won it with an RBI single to right. UCA finished with 10 hits but failed to take advantage of six NSU errors.

In the second game, the Demons broke open a 3-3 game by loading the bases in the eighth and all three scored on a bunt by Atkinson and an error on UCA starter Connor Gilmore (4-2), who took the loss.

UCA fell behind 2-0 in the first inning but eventually took the lead with a run in the fourth on Brad Dillenberger’s sacrifice fly, and two more in the fifth on RBI singles by Ferrell and Justin Treece.

After giving up the lead in the eighth, the Bears went in order in the ninth as Brandon Smith earned his second save. Dowdle, Ferrell and Chris Townsend had two hits apiece for the Bears, who had double-figure hits in all three games of the series.

UCA returns home to face Oral Roberts, which is one game out of eighth this weekend. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Bear Stadium.

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